I have been with MacIntyre for over 9 years and I started my journey in Chester as a support worker. I had no previous experience in the care setting and wasn’t sure what to expect or whether I would even be suitable for the role. It turned out that I was and I wanted to learn and progress further in my career. At around 3 to 4 years in to my career as a support worker I was presented with a window of opportunity to prove myself and act up as a senior support worker. This did come with its challenges and rewards such as learning new skills and helping my front line manager to run a registered care service. I think one of the difficult parts of the role was taking on more responsibility and having other members of staff counting on you to do the job properly and the dreaded fear of failing your work colleagues and also the people I was supporting. Thankfully I would like to think I didn’t fail them and I didn’t let anyone down.
After about 5 or 6 years of being a senior support worker I became hungry for more and wanted to further my career again. I started to think that I had maybe gained enough experience and skills to try my hand at becoming a front line manager and was on the lookout for an opportunity to move forward. I finally found that opportunity in Warrington and applied for the position. It was one of the most nerve wracking things I have done; going for an interview while doubting myself and thinking that I wasn’t good enough to be a front line manager, and that I would mess it up somehow if I was actually successful. In the end I had to tell myself that I had nothing to lose and to just put it down as experience if I wasn’t successful in my interview. It turned out that I was successful and was given the opportunity to work as a front line manager taking on the challenge of managing 5 services. I was very nervous on the first couple of days visiting all the services and meeting the people I would be supporting because I so desperately wanted them to like me. One of the first people I met was a lady called Angela who loved to knit and does craft and arty things, but also could be quite shy with meeting new people. I quickly learned that to break the ice with her I needed to be pretty good at drawing, so I drew her a picture of a reindeer on a canvas she gave me, and Angela loved it…well that was it, we were talking like we knew each other for years which was great and also a huge relief. Using a facilitative approach, particularly observation, creativity and responsiveness meant all these introductions went smoothly and I had nothing at all to worry about.
I have been a manger now for 7 months and I am really enjoying my time in Warrington. It has given me the opportunity to meet some amazing people and also amazing colleagues and it has also helped me grow and become more confident in my current role. Looking back now on when I was doubting myself and thinking that I wouldn’t be good enough for the job, I have learned that everything is possible and nothing is too far out of reach if you really want it!
Front Line Manager, Warrington